Use of Five-Point Restraints on Inmates for 46-48 Hours Without Procedural Checks Ruled Unconstitutional

Card v. D.C. Dep't of Corr., No. 2:00CV631, 2005 WL 2260167 (E.D. Va. Sept. 13, 2005)

Incarcerated individuals with a mental illness may be particularly prone to engage in disruptive behavior.  When an inmate engages in disruptive behavior, correctional officials may respond in various ways.  They may reduce the inmate's privileges, place the inmate in isolation or segregation, or employ four- or five-point restraints to subdue the individual.  Under Virginia state policy, an inmate who tried to escape or demonstrated violent or unmanageable behavior could be positioned face up on a bed with leather straps applied to the wrists, ankles, and across the chest for up to forty-eight hours if initial approval had been provided by the Warden or Administrative  Duty Officer.  This policy was challenged by an inmate who had been placed in five-point restraints for 46-48 hours on five occasions (six to nine meal and restroom breaks were provided each time)...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1